It's called the Mazda Hazumi concept but this is the new Mazda 2 city car in thin disguise.
The Japanese company says the Hazumi concept – unveiled at the 2014 Geneva motor show ahead of an expected on-sale date of late 2014 or early 2015 for Australia – is a “glimpse at Mazda’s ideal next-generation subcompact”, claiming it focuses on four key aspects: the brand’s Kodo styling; SkyActiv technology; proactive safety; and the MZD Connect connectivity system.
Hazumi translates to “bound or spring up”, and the company says the styling of the city car is supposed to conjure the image of a “small but vigorous animal bursting with energy and bounding into life”.
Rather than the brand’s ads which feature bounding cheetahs, the styling of the Hazumi has an element of pouncing kitten to it, with its strong lines clearly positioning it below the Mazda 3, Mazda 6 and CX-5 models that have come before it.
It may look on the chunky side, but the Hazumi is slightly larger than the current generation Mazda 2, measuring 4070 millimetres long, 1730mm wide and 1450mm tall (current car: 3900mm long, 1695mm wide and 1475mm tall). The wheelbase has been lengthened by 95mm to 2585mm, a move aimed at increasing interior space and improving ride stability.
Trademark elements include a bold front-end treatment with prominent five-point grille, wide-set headlights and slick lower bumper, while in profile the Hazumi features more exaggerated lines than the current Mazda 2 – arguably still one of the best-looking city cars on the market – including deep swage lines, short overhangs and enormous 18-inch alloys. The rear end adopts a sporty lower bumper with central exhaust outlets, while the semi-transparent tail-lights feature U-shaped LED inlays.
Under the bonnet of the concept is the brand’s latest SkyActiv-D engine, a 1.5-litre turbo diesel which is designed to be lightweight and compact.
No exact figures have been offered regarding the new diesel’s power outputs, but the company says it offers “ample torque and dynamic performance which is linear right up to the top of the revolution range”. Fuel use is expected to be low, with a CO2 emission figure “below 90g/km” – about 3.3L/100km – and is assisted by the brand’s i-Stop engine stop-start system and i-ELOOP regenerative braking system.
While the exterior styling appears close to production-ready and the engine is almost certainly ready to roll off the production line, the interior appears further from build reality.
It features a four-seat layout with plush crimson trim and white leather spanning the doors and bridge-like dashboard, which has been designed to improve foot-well space. Other showy items include an aircraft-style gear selector with steering wheel paddleshifters, a glitzy instrument cluster with dash-top head-up display, and metal knobs and dials.
The high-mounted media display screen utilises the brand’s MZD Connect system that debuted in the Mazda 3 range (from the Maxx variant up). Mazda hasn’t offered any details regarding any changes to the interface, but says it addresses “the needs of young drivers” by allowing easy phone connectivity.
The Hazumi concept also features a suite of safety technologies, including a city braking system, blind-spot warning system and reverse-view camera.
Mazda Australia is expected to introduce the new Mazda 2 in late 2014, and the production version is expected to be shown at or before the 2014 Paris motor show in September.